Song of the Day – 309: Family Fodder
Family Fodder were one of the few UK bands that escaped me at the time.
Collaborators with This Heat, a sprawling 15-person London collective that congealed around the time of post-punk (1978), their music in retrospect is so fantastically Everett True heartland territory, I can only hang my head. In Shame. You can hear elements of everyone that mattered … Swell Maps, New Age Steppers, This Heat, The Door And The Window, ATV, Twelve Cubic Feet, Robert Wyatt, The Red Crayola, The Raincoats, Arthur Russell, The Slits … by the time the following appeared, they’d already released a batch of fine singles, and doubtless a great album or two. Obsessed with Debbie Harry, too (an early EP contained two ‘versions’ of ‘Sunday Girl’) – and who the fuck wasn’t back then? Who the fuck wasn’t?
I only got turned onto the following song by one of those awesome Rough Trade collections during the 00s: figured it had to be new as I’d never heard it before. Figured wrong. Damn, there’s so much music out there waiting to be discovered. Could do worse than start here. I know I, for one, am ordering the fuck out of this exhaustive compilation.
Mostly, their music was way less polished than their most famous song, ‘Debbie Harry’: awkward, space-filled, dub-wise. Sometimes, it was more polished … and it was then that they could turn full-on irritating, a smug art school joke filled with plenty of musicianship and little inspiration (c.g. the appalling ‘Dinosaur Sex’ or Alvin And The Chipmunks version of ‘Sunday Girl’). But at least they’d take changes. And when the music was good (‘Love Song’, ‘Savoir Faire’, 1981’s ‘Film Music’: often the songs with the female singer), it was Red Crayola good … and that’s some good, I’m telling you.
Many thanks to the excellent Commercial Zone blog for this, and also the very fine Post Punk Progressive Party.